Two tribes at war can bestow many things upon many folks. For some it may bring profit through the trade and sale of weapons, food, mercenaries and beasts of burden. For others it may cause great hardship, as routes are interrupted and towns or strongholds captured. But it is not always the strong who are victorious, and unfortunately it is not always the just that prevail.
There had been war for three years between two folk who resided in the forests of the Pargen all those years ago. The fighting stopped only as tradition demanded, during the harvest months. Such was this war though, that even in the harvest months some traditions were ignored. It could only be described as an inborn hatred of the Parge folk by those of the Kreessen. What slight had caused this hatred the Kreessen kept to themselves alone.
Even for those at war, it had been custom for generations to share the last pressed wine of the year with any and all foes. It was always the idea to end hostilities before winter to best survive the leaner months where crops yielded little. But the Kreessen refused each and every year, sending a single messenger to each invitation to spit in the cup of wine and return to his homeland.
The Parge folk held to tradition, every year extending the invitation, as the war had consumed the forests with fire, traps and ambushes in even the furthest reaches of each kingdom. The coast became all but inaccessible as the Kreessen pushed their ships and numbers ever outward to ensure that only they would reach the seas on the eastern coast. And though the rivers held fish and the forests teamed with life, the many folk of the Pargen needed the sea for salt to cure their food until spring.
Supplies would grow low for many folk, but a glimmer of hope came. The Kreessen and Parge could each hold their own and neither could hold an advantage. In the high summer of the fourth year, the Kreessen called for a peace. The fighting had grown steadily less, and the Parge were eager to end the war. The highly anticipated meeting was expected to change everything and bring peace to the great Pargen forest. Within a week the talks were arranged, and king would sit opposite king.
The Parge dressed as tradition demanded, each soldier with a spear and shield, and each officer armed in the same way with the addition of a sword to be kept sheathed. The Kreessen did not follow this tradition just as they had ignored so many others, but they too kept weapons sheathed though they avoided speaking to others. The kings spoke through the day and night, with both camps quietly waiting for word.
On the third day of pleasant negotiations, all things changed at once. A rider came from a vantage point high above the camps below, a signal of smoke and fire was sent from the home of the Parge, a signal sent for the Kreessen king and those of his kin and folk. The Parge capitol was put to the torch and the folk of the city killed. The Kreessen had sent a large portion of their army to invade the Parge homeland and destroy what peoples stood in their way while the king and his soldiers were distracted.
Such dishonor had never been seen before in the great green forests of the Pargen. But at once the Kreessen king sent the word and his camp rose immediately to attack. The Parge stood little chance, being deceived by such a foe. The Kreessen relished in violence and blood, caring little for honor at all, for they only cared about what came in death as rewards for their actions in life.
Each person they killed, every item they looted and every beast they butchered in their belief would become their servants in death. And if a Kreessen killed a king or a lord, their lands and their folk would be servants in death too. It was a black day for the Pargen forests and for those in the lands around. It was the day when the Kreessen became an empire so strong that other folk had no choice but to flee, or else become enslaved or slaughtered.